Tree School Revisited

One from the archives while I try and find my words again..


Trees have a kind of magical power in my life. (Thank you, Enid Blyton!) 

When I look at them, I gain perspective. 

Summer trees aren’t better than winter trees, because it’s not about the number of leaves a tree has, its about the tree itself. 

A tree is tenacious, strong, grounded, life giving. 

It doesn’t become more or less of a tree because of what it’s wearing. 

It doesn’t become more or less of itself, because of what it’s wearing. 

Why do we struggle to learn this lesson from the trees? 

It isn’t about our leaves. 

Worth doesn’t come from your wardrobe. 

When I wear my cobalt blue jumper, I feel great, but it is just a feeling. The jumper isn’t magic. It doesn’t change me. 

Worth certainly doesn’t come from your car or your bank balance or your job title. It doesn’t come from your marital status, or your progeny and how well they behave in a cafe. It doesn’t come from the step count on your Fitbit or the number of projects you’re juggling. 

All of these things have an impact on how we feel about ourselves, but they aren’t who we are. 

Somehow though, we have bought into this lie, that the leaves – our outward appearance, our accomplishments and the badges we wear – mother, wife, healthy person, clever person, caring person, martyr – matter most. 

They don’t. They don’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things. Yet it seems they have so much power over us. 

I think we sometimes use these things as a salve for our souls, or props on the set of our lives. 

If I can just wear the right outfit, if my kids behave, if I get that job, if I’m “on track”, if I weigh XX kilos, then I’m okay. Do you ever feel like that? 

Because you’re here reading, I feel like we have some kind of relationship, so I have an invitation for you. 

I invite you to ponder this lesson from the trees. 

Think about the human equivalent of leaves – our clothes, validation through others, work, weight…. what role do they play in your life? What power have you assigned to them? While you’re pondering these things, please practice self-compassion. ❤️

After I sketched this tree yesterday, I got to thinking about my great aunt Adeline, who was a gifted artist. I was thinking about her style of painting and my style, and how different they are. She painted trees, and I sketch them.  They are identifiably trees in both instances, but they aren’t the same. 

We are like that too, you and I. 

We aren’t all the same, but we are all people. 

We all have worth and value. 

That doesn’t depend on the season, or the leaves, it simply is. 

You can’t earn it, you can’t get it from others, and you certainly can’t buy it or wear it. 

You can only realise and embrace it. 

Maybe that’s why the trees say wishawishawisha, because that’s the highest wish you can have for anyone. 

Learn from the trees. And please let me know what you hear them wishing for you. 

With love, 

Annette x 



15 thoughts on “Tree School Revisited

  1. What a lovely way to start my day , thank you Annette x l may sketch a tree myself while pondering these thoughts .


  2. Wishawishawisha . . . Oh sigh! If only I could go right back to that time of innocence when Enid Blyton ruled my world. Loved your words . . . Deep thoughts to ponder, and like Gaynor says, may honour them with some tree art too.


  3. I just love this Annette. I absolutely agree, and I have been working towards taking back the power from these things that trick us into believing our worth is embedded in them. It is too dangerous a prospect for our sum of parts to be so flimsy. I love your tree metaphor – it’s perfect. xx


    • It is dangerous isn’t it Collette? Frighteningly prevalent, but I hope that’s changing.
      I’m so passionate about encouraging people to reclaim their power.

      🌳🌳🌳🌳 Trees know.


  4. Awesome blog post, Annette! You’ve got me thinking why I suddenly had the urge to yarn bomb the dead trees in our scrub, last weekend? Whatever the reason, the grandies and I had an amazing time. I feel that even though they were dead, I didn’t want to cremate them in the bbq, I wanted them to still be useful and enjoy being pretty? 💜 Great food for thought! 💜


    • Sounds like you had a fun, creative time with the grandies!

      I am thrilled to give anyone something they find worth their reflection, so thank you for sharing that Maz. 💗


  5. I love this analogy too – you’ve captured it really well! What I think of at this time of the year is how much I can see the real essence of the tree (or the rose bush, or whichever deciduous plant). I can see whether it’s healthy, whether it’s structurally unstable or has some deadwood dragging it down – and on the flipside, its strengths. It’s not hidden between the (often attractive and lovely smelling) superfluous stuff. I can see the core – and that’s what you’ve articulated, too. This is also possibly why today I bought Inga Simpson’s Understory too – I think she’s also focusing on what lies underneath in nature – and what we can learn too. All good stuff x


    • Oh I like that – seeing the essence of things, without the external distractions. Yes!

      That book sounds really interesting too, I’m off to google it now.


  6. From someone who literally hides in her clothes, thank you for reposting this. It has come, as things so often do, at the most ideal time for me. Much to think upon today.
    Thank you Annette and so lovely to find you back here. I hope those words soon find their way back to you.
    Cheers Kate


    • Hi Kate,
      I’m glad you got something from the trees. They’re very wise.
      Here’s something to ponder – nothing bad will happen if you dare to challenge the ideas that make you feel you should be hiding.


      • you are so wise Annette, but even more your words so often leave me feeling cared about. That is worth so much more to me than you realise.
        cheers Kate


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s